Finance board puts back $75k in fire budget
Updated 2:09 pm, Wednesday, March 14, 2018
NEW CANAAN — The Board of Finance giveth and the Board of Finance taketh away.
The finance board approved a $39.7 million selectmen budget March 8, representing a 1.33 percent increase from the previous year, though not without some noticeable changes.
A $50,000 allocation for a land acquisition fund in the town’s capital budget was cut from the budget and a $75,625 reduction to the Fire Department’s budget for Fiscal Year 2019 were reinserted into the budget at the meeting.
“The Board of Finance decides what to appropriate, subject to Town Council approval or reduction,” First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said via email Tuesday. “(Money restored to the Fire Department budget) was restoring an amount decided in error by the Board of Selectmen and the land acquisition fund was the Board of Finance’s judgment to acquire open space on an ad hoc basis rather than with a reserve over time.”
The Board of Selectmen, while deliberating their budget in January, had unanimously imposed a $75,625 cut from the Fire Department’s proposed budget for the Fiscal Year 2019. At the same time, the selectmen also approved a $50,000 capital budget item for a land acquisition fund that would allow the town to save money for future potential purchases.
The decision to cut from fire’s proposed budget was addressed at a special meeting by the Fire Commission, alerting some Town Council liaisons at the end of January.
Town Council member Sven Englund had said in February via email that town council liaisons had recommended the selectmen’s cuts to the fire department’s overtime lines be reinstated as the finance board reviewed the budgets.
“This request was delivered to the Board of Finance liaison,” Englund said in early February. “Returning to the old days where departments’ overtime budgets were purposely underfunded to reduce the budget and then topped up by special appropriation in the last month of the fiscal year is no longer considered fiscally prudent by the Town Council liaisons.”
The finance board heeded the recommendations; they reintroduced nearly $75,625 to the Fire Department in the town’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget approved at the March 8 meeting.
The $50,000 proposed in the town’s capital budget as part of the land acquisition fund was completely scratched by the finance board.
After this change, including some other minor tweaks, the town’s operating budget for Fiscal Year 2019 came in at $39.7 million, representing a 1.33 percent increase.
Town Council will now review the budgets April 3 and vote on April 5.